Forman may be gone, but will his lingo linger on?

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And in IT circles, feds and industry officials alike have taken to mimicking the unique phraseology of Mark Forman.

Over the last two years in his position as the government's e-czar, Forman's way with words'often colorful, sometimes bureaucratic, rarely techie and occasionally confounding'has transformed the federal systems and business lexicon.

Forman intentionally reused certain phrases and terms to make his point that the Office of Management and Budget expected agencies to reinvent the way they bought and implemented IT in the e-government age.

There are a handful of catchphrases he especially enjoyed using. So with apologies to David Letterman, here are our Top 10 Mark Forman aphorisms:

    10. Three clicks to service -- Forman's promise to simplify navigation on federal Web sites.

    9. The enterprise architecture wedding cake -- a description of the many layers of a systems infrastructure.

    8. Buy once, use many -- advice for recycling technology.

    7. Getting to green -- the path to the top rating on the President's Management Agenda scorecard.

    6. Citizen-centered, results-oriented and market-based -- the attributes of effective systems.

    5. Eliminating stovepipes -- scrapping systems that aren't interoperable.

    4. Islands of automation -- organizations that fail to foster interoperability.

    3. Putting lipstick on a pig -- dressing up a bad idea with flashy technology.

    2. Paving cow paths -- agencies' tendency to automate management problems rather than solve them.

    And the No. 1 Mark Forman saying: Unify and simplify -- the rallying cry to eliminate redundant applications and make all systems user-friendly.

Reader Comments

Thu, Mar 19, 2009 NOVA

None of Forman's bits of wisdom (Forman may be gone, but will his lingo linger on?) are original. Thye have been 'spoken once and reused by many' so it is hard to judge his actual accomplishments through this and other articles written on this topic.

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